Football Geelong v Richmond: Higgins’ AFL milestone for hometown Cats
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Geelong v Richmond: Higgins’ AFL milestone for hometown Cats

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Once a footy-mad youngster kicking around Geelong, Shaun Higgins will bring up game number 250 in the colours of his home club.

The 33-year-old one-time All-Australian will reach the milestone when the high-flying Cats meet Richmond on Sunday afternoon at the MCG.

He grew up in Geelong and supported the team, with father Mick playing reserves for the club.

“I was a footy-mad little kid,” Higgins told reporters.

“As a player, you always try and park it (the milestone) a bit in the lead-up to a game. It is something you reflect on probably post-game.”

Higgins debuted in 2006 as a teenager for the Western Bulldogs, before joining North Melbourne in 2015 and linking with the Cats at the end of last season on a two-year deal.

“I’m always looking at ways to improve my game and become a more rounded player and person,” he said.

“I’ve been able to do that this year through the help of being in a new environment and seeing how different guys and coaches go about it.

“I haven’t yet been able to make grand final day, that is front and centre of my motivation.”

The third-placed Cats are in the mix for a top-two spot and are earning increasing accolades having held their opponents to just 44 points a game during a three-match winning run.

Richmond coach Damien Hardwick has claimed underdog status for the ninth-placed Tigers, who must battle the remainder of the year without injured superstar Dustin Martin.

His absence is offset by the return of All-Australian midfielder Shane Edwards from an ankle problem.

“If we’re looking for one player to replace Dustin Martin, we’re going to be found short,” Hardwick said.

For Geelong, Gary Rohan and Lachie Henderson are inclusions in the squad that beat Fremantle by 69 points in Perth last weekend.

The Cats thrashed Richmond by 63 points in their most recent meeting – at the MCG in round eight.

“They’ve been in really good form. We know how they play, they just execute it so well,” Hardwick said.

-AAP